I told myself I wouldn’t do it. Countless times, even. I never thought I’d actually seriously consider this either. Let me give you a little back story.
So I went auto-crossing again on Sunday. Due to limited funds I didn’t drive, instead I took pictures, made friends and went for ride-alongs with a bunch of friends. Even though I didn’t take the X around the course, it was still a fantastic day. It was nice seeing so many faces both old and new, as well as seeing some awesome cars tear up the parking lot. Mike has been telling me about this Spitfire that shows up to some of the autocross events, tears it up, slides around and generally has an awesome time whenever he goes. I was able to meet this man.
His name is Steve and sparing all of the technical details, he knows his way around the platform quite well. It was a joy talking to another Spit/GT6 guy, as I’ve never really had an opportunity to talk to someone who competes with it and drives it like the way it was meant to be driven. He showed up yesterday with a surprise for everyone that hasn’t seen his car since the last event my friends went to. To all of our amazement, the car had a 1.6L I-4 Mazda Miata motor swapped into it.
Purists beware: if this is not your cup of English Breakfast, I would suggest you stop reading here. I can’t even describe how well suited this platform is to the Miata motor. It’s not exceptionally fast, only putting out a modest 116 HP. However, one thing that many people might forget is that the Spitfire with the swap should only be about 1600-1700 lbs wet. The power to weight ratio is fantastic, the balance is fantastic, the swap is fantastic and the drive was fantastic.
Steve allowed me to hop into his car for a ride around the lot in his Spitfire. I kid you not, it was one of the most entertaining vehicles I have ever been in. I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling the entire time he threw us around the lot. What a car.
So if you haven’t guess it by now, this is the route I want to go for my GT6. The advantages are absolutely endless. Using the factory Miata 5-speed mated to the motor, I no longer have to purchase a $4000 Ford Type-9 conversion for the car. I no longer have to spend thousands on getting the I-6 motor machined and cleaned up to put out an even more modest 104 HP. I don’t have to worry about carburetor issues, distributor issues and inefficient fuel delivery. I no longer have to run 91 octane in the car. The weight savings between the iron block GT6 motor vs. the Miata motor is several hundred pounds. The motor sits further behind the front wheels for significantly better weight distribution. They’re cheap and easy to rebuild. Need I continue?
Quite obviously, the only disadvantage in my eyes from running the Miata motor and transmission is the they’re not Triumph. I told myself I wouldn’t do a swap of any kind, that I wanted the car to be all original but really for what I’m after with the car, this makes so much more sense. I can literally finish the car in likely half the time now. I save thousands and thousands of dollars. The benefits far outweigh the single disadvantage.
Mike and I are getting together soon to rip apart his Miata that he is swapping the motor on. He was nice enough to offer his motor and transmission to me, provided I rip it out with him. Both do admittedly need a rebuild but after looking at prices on Flyin’ Miata, that’s not even a concern. This is going to be great, I’m even more excited now.
My motor is up for sale, it’s a MK-II/GT6+ motor which is the most sought after unit. $500 OBO!